In the blink of an eye another mundane Monday morning sets in, my third coffee is starting to work its magic and after taking my life in my hands on LA’s public transportation I am back in the city ready for the week ahead.
But before I get back to my routine of healthy eating and pounding the pavement in an attempt to melt away the post weekend pounds I want to relive my weekend, in an attempt to make it last longer maybe.
After being in Vegas recovery for a week, yes it takes a week! We had decided on a quiet weekend, our livers needed a rest and our bank account even more so. I got home early on Friday and enjoyed a Gin & Tonic (well one never hurt anyone) around our apartment’s pool while my husband picked up some fillet steak from the farmers market at The Grove.
Saturday started early at my husbands request. There really is a first time for everything. We picked up a healthy breakfast from Qwench on Sunset, my go to spot for healthy food in a hurry. My favorites are the Maca bowl, P-Bowl and their Category 4 smoothie. All menu items including nutritional information can be found here.
With highs of 90° we chose the perfect day to head to the beach. The LA traffic was surprisingly good and we got to Santa Monica within half an hour. One of my favorite summer activities is going for a bike ride along the cycle path adjacent to the beach. We usually start out in Santa Monica and end in Manhattan Beach but at 26 miles this was a little strenuous for a relaxing Saturday, so we decided to do a shorter trip and end in Marina Del Rey which covers roughly 12 miles there and back.
Getting out of Santa Monica can be a little tricky for a novice bike rider like myself. Weaving in and out of the tourists, rollerbladers and multitude of performers poses quite a challenge for someone as clumsy and accident prone as myself. But when I hit the cycle path with the wind in my hair and the sun on my back I can’t help but reflect on my life and how amazing our surroundings are.
When we first embarked on the 26 mile ride we stumbled across a hidden gem. A small authentic Italian restaurant with views of the Marina Del Rey harbor and a sun lit patio with cafe like charm. Now it is customary to stop for a Prosecco or two.
Adding to the character and charm of the little eatery is the live music at Fisherman’s Wharf where you can find the local OAP’s jiving to a cheesy cover of a Lionel Richie classic. The village setting and unpretentious quality food and wine make this a must stop in Marina Del Rey. Check out the menu here. I recommend the Napoleon Caprese.
On route back to Santa Monica and we had definitely worked up an appetite. We locked our bikes to a near by post and had a walk around Venice to find a spot for lunch.
We chose Mercedes Grille, a Cuban restaurant with a lively vibe and a sun drenched patio. We were told it would be around 25 minutes for a table but by the time we had ordered a drink at the bar the attractive hostess was ready to seat us.
I was in the mood for a salad and I was supposed to be having a healthy weekend after all, but wouldn’t it be sacrilege not to have seafood being only a stones throw away from the ocean? The obliging waitress allowed me to add shrimp to my Mercedes Salad which did not disappoint however the healthiness of the salad was offset by the complimentary corn bread and Gorgonzola stuffed olives in my super strong martini. Not to mention the wine, but Saturday’s are for cheating!
Mercedes Grille is the perfect spot for a lazy afternoon of people watching, topping up your tan on the patio and enjoying a few reasonably priced cocktails while listening to the sound of the ocean in the distance. The food doesn’t disappoint and I will return just to try the Cuban Sandwich.
Before heading home we hit up happy hour at 1212 on 3rd Street Promenade. This place has a great happy hour menu with wine for $5 and the best $7 Sangria I’ve tasted. The food is good too and the atmosphere is casual yet sophisticated. Santa Monica high street was as bustling as always with street performers, tourists and locals alike.
After an action packed day we were ready for a quiet night in with a home cooked dinner and an early night.